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Stay informed on the latest forest industry news and market insights.

F&W is committed to helping landowners get the most out of their timberland – one of the best tools is current and relevant information. Through the F&W Forestry Report, our clients and subscribers gain an insider’s view on the latest market conditions, timber prices and legislation affecting forestry. Each quarterly report is packed with insights gathered from our participation in professional associations, academic research cooperatives and everyday work in the forest to give you an edge in the marketplace.

New Programs Provide Assistance To Georgia Forest Landowners Impacted By Hurricane Michael

New Programs Provide Assistance To Georgia Forest Landowners Impacted By Hurricane Michael

F&W wants to inform Georgia landowners of three programs that have just been announced to provide assistance to Georgia forest landowners impacted by Hurricane Michael.

These programs, two from the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) and one from Georgia Forestry Association (GFA) for its members, provide disaster relief assistance to landowners for debris cleanup efforts.  We encourage landowners to act quickly as two of these programs have application deadlines in February and funding is limited.

1. Forest Debris Management Program (GFC)

Landowners who own 10 or more acres of forestland or a commercial orchard of any size with trees damaged by Hurricane Michael are eligible for this program.  The program provides financial assistance to landowners to help with the costs of removing and managing forest debris from the storm.  Under the 80/20 cost-share program, landowners must hire private companies or complete the cleanup on their own.  To be eligible, landowners must apply to the program by Feb. 11, 2019.

GFC said payments will be made after the work is completed, the landowner submits official cost and other documentation, and the agency evaluates the site.  Cost share payments are based on 80 percent of the documented cost and, according to GFC, the average cost of clearing debris from forestland across the Southeast is approximately $500/acre.

The applications period runs from Jan. 14, 2019 to Feb. 11, 2019.  Landowners will be notified of approval beginning Feb. 25, 2019.

For more information about this program, please click here, or contact Scott Griffin with questions about this program at (770) 530-3929 or sgriffin@gfc.state.ga.us.

2. Forest Access Road and Firebreak Restoration Project (GFC)

Another program offered by GFC provides assistance to private forest landowners with debris cleanup from pre-existing firebreaks and forest roads.  Under this program, GFC personnel and equipment will complete this cleanup at no cost to the landowner.  Initially, GFC plans to limit the service allowed per landowner to 25 hours; after all service requests are met, GFC said they may allow additional hours.

Applications for assistance are due by Feb. 28, 2019.

For more information about the Forest Access Road and Firebreaks Debris Clearing program, please click here, or contact Frank Sorrels at GFC with questions about this program at (478) 751-3490 or fsorrels@gfc.state.ga.us.

3. GFA Free Debris Removal Program

Twin Rivers Land and Timber is offering to remove debris free of charge to Georgia Forestry Association members whose lands are located within 20 miles of Albany and Quitman, Ga., and Cottondale, Ala.  Debris will need to be piled with a minimum amount of dirt and soil mixed in and will be evaluated on a site-by-site basis.  This opportunity is only available to members of the Georgia Forestry Association.

To become a GFA member, contact Marilou Meyers at (478) 992-9110 or apply here.

After becoming a member, or if you already are a member, contact Tom Tuggle at Twin Rivers Land and Timber at (478) 297-5471.

Again, we encourage you to act quickly to ensure your eligibility to participate in these assistance programs. If you have questions about your forestland or forest management, please feel free to contact the F&W forester in your area.

Chad Hancock 
Albany, Ga.
229.883.0505

Doug Hall 
Thomasville, Ga.
229.449.1537

Jim Doster
Marianna, Fla.
850.482.6573

More Of The Same For 2019

More Of The Same For 2019

It’s taken almost 10 years for housing starts to slowly return to 1.3 million units—the threshold when housing begins to have an impact on lumber prices—but the housing sector appears to have plateaued.

“It took almost 10 years to slowly but steadily get to a decent level of housing starts, raising expectations for all of us in the tree-growing business, and now we have stalled right at the point where demand might have created some upward pressure on prices paid for trees,” writes Marshall Thomas, president of F&W Forestry Services, Inc., in the winter issue of his company’s newsletter, F&W Forestry Report.

In late 2016, housing starts reached 1.3 million, but since then they have bounced between 1.1 and 1.3 million units, with little to no trend.

“I’m afraid there is nothing in the outlook to suggest that 2019 will be much different from the last two years,” Thomas writes. “But most forecasts since 2008 have been wrong, including mine, so maybe I’ll be wrong this time.”

TO SEE THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE WINTER 2019 F&W FORESTRY REPORTSUBSCRIBE NOW»

Supreme Court Rules On Endangered Species Habitat Case

Supreme Court Rules On Endangered Species Habitat Case

In one of the first decisions by the Supreme Court in the 2018-19 term, the Justices ruled 8-0 in favor of private property rights in Weyerhaeuser Co. vs. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The case stemmed from an issue in Louisiana where the federal agency declared property as “critical habitat” for the dusky gopher frog when, in fact, the frog does not inhabit the land. The designation could potentially restrict use of the land under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The ruling stated that “only the ‘habitat’ of the endangered species is eligible for designation as critical habitat.” Now the case returns to the Fifth Circuit to answer the question of what constitutes “habitat” and if the property in question qualifies for the frog.

The Supreme Court also directed the Appeals Court to consider whether the benefits involved in designating the land as a critical habitat outweighed the costs.

TO SEE THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE WINTER 2019 F&W FORESTRY REPORTSUBSCRIBE NOW»

Logging And Timber Transport Sector Critical Link In Wood Supply Chain

Logging And Timber Transport Sector Critical Link In Wood Supply Chain

Loggers and timber transport are an important link between the forests in mills. Over the past 30 years, the logging sector has changed considerably, transforming from a labor-intensive to a capital-intensive industry.

Over time, the logging industry has been consolidating and its workforce shrinking. But at the same time, the sector has transformed, embracing mechanization and increasing productivity considerably, according to a recently published article in the Journal of Forestry by noted forestry researchers from the University of Georgia and Paul Smith’s College.

The report demonstrates some of the challenges faced by the logging sector, such as the advanced age of the business owners and the significant capital investments required for businesses. On the timber transport side, there are driver shortages, rising driver wages, and most recently, the swift and substantial increases in truck liability insurance premiums. To compound the issue, log trucks operate on small profit margins and sudden increases in costs are significant.

TO SEE THE FULL ARTICLE IN THE WINTER 2019 F&W FORESTRY REPORTSUBSCRIBE NOW»

The F&W Forestry Report is published quarterly for our clients reporting on the latest market conditions, timber prices and legislation affecting forestry.

Winter 2016

Spring 2016

Winter 2015

Please note that archived newsletters lag
one year behind current publications.

Fountains Forestry Changes
Name to F&W

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F&W Establishes Thomasville Office

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For media inquiries, contact Bates Associates: 770-451-0370, bbates@batesassociates.net